Some people have enquired…

what Julie Bindel is like. Here she is expressing some views on gay men and gay male misogyny which stray into some very odd territory. I mean, yes, some gay men are horribly misogynistic, but for Julie it is all part of a conspiracy…And then there is WHAT THEY DO IN BED and how that oppresses women…

It would be funny in a sense, were it not for the way that some of what she says echoes the hate speech of the likes of Ssempa, the Ugandan homophobe who is using scat porn to build up murderous hatred of gay men, and lesbians like Bindel, all over Africa. He too believes in the gay conspiracy, after all. And in reparative therapy.

(Julie Bindel of course does not believe in reparative therapy for lesbians and gay men. She does however disapprove of bisexuals, and she does believe that trans people should have ‘talking cure’ therapy that will stop us wanting to be trans. She claims that this is entirely different from reparative therapy, and that she is not selling the pass to the likes of Ssempa. She is not lying; she just does not get it or how the sort of thing she says here can be used to further right-wing projects that kill women and men.

Quite honestly, she is not very bright.)

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About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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43 Responses to Some people have enquired…

  1. gonzo21 says:

    Wait, what, did she just criticise gay men for sexualising each other?!

    I… well. Gosh. Yes. Crikey. I see what you mean about her.

  2. actionreplay says:

    I think she does get it, but doesn’t care. She gets attention, a column in a national daily and adoring fans. So who cares about anyone else?

  3. I have clearly been watching different gay porn from her….

    I think she’s missing the point about pop music and popular culture – yes, it is misogynistic, but a lot of it is nothing to do with women or their representation and is, what, misanthropic, misophallic? That’s a little too binary but it is the body-beautiful within strictly defined limits of aspirational advertising that is being displayed and sold and exploited. It doesn’t matter whether it is Kylie or Jason, Brad or Jennifer, it’s a packaging of bodies as commodity and a commodifying of the gaze.

    You could make an argument that the objectification of men has enabled there to be a greater visibility of female desire which breaks the gendered looking-at/to-be-looked-at divide in the male gaze as articulated by Mulvey, but it probably needs to be more nuanced on when looking is exploitation.

    Probably not making that much sense here. Thinking aloud.

    • rozkaveney says:

      And her claim that that commodification is done by gay men is largely untrue anyway – gay men are not the majority of the controlling figures in the entertainment industry and have not been for a great many years.

      I don’t agree that all pop music and popular culture are misogynistic – some of it is and some of it is not. And much of it is polysemous – Kylie did not stop being a pop icon when she had surgical treatment for cancer, on the contrary. There are problems with Mulvey’s model – which I believe Mulvey has come to terms with – and one of the major ones is that the active gaze of the consumer of culture is a lot more nuanced than is sometimes assumed. Carol Clover demonstrated this in her work on slasher films – consumers identify with victims and with the Final Girl at least as much as with the killer, and do this simultaneously.

      Personally, I blame Adorno for the tradition of writing about popular culture as if its consumers were passive and stupid – in Adorno’s case, we can now see the elements of racial privilege in the way he wrote about jazz, but there is still a staggering amount of classism going on with which it behoves all of us to write about these issues to struggle.

      Yes, there is such a thing as false consciousness, but if the history of Leninist parties has taught us anything, it is to critique our own assumptions that we are observing it.

      • Yes, I should have been clearer about bracketting off pop music and culture; it probably isn’t that some is misogynistic and some isn’t, it’s more that some pop culture, strike that, some culture is misogynistic in some circumstances, but the same is not misogynistic in all circumstances. The streets find their own uses for things, as Gibson says (and the suits find their uses for things, as MacLeod says). It’s debateable how free our choice of reaction is – politics, class, gender, age, sexuality, education, ethnicity, religion, awakeness will have their impacts – but we sometimes swallow whole, sometimes reject and sometimes negotiate.

        There are clearly pop impressarios – I have no idea whether there is a above average percentage of gay men in this role – who package pop stars with a greater or lesser cynicism, knowingness and ignorance to make money from as broad a demographic as possible, but often gay men in the first instance. The divas and pretties for gay men is perhaps just the most visible market segment. But equally audiences reject or steal as well as swallow.

        That hypodermic needle model of audience is very seductive – and Adorno ends up expressing pretty much the same things about popular culture as Arnold and F.R. Leavis did, although on the one hand it’s showing how the mob are being repressed and on the other it’s worried about the mob getting out of hand.

        Linda Williams makes some similar points to Clover – talking about the female audience members identifying both with the victim and the monster (Fay Wray and King Kong). I’m not sure whether I quite bought Clover’s suggestion that male audience members identify with the FG; part of it seems sometimes a sadistic pleasure in the victim who will not die despite the extended period of terrorising. But I’m drifting off the point.

        (I am resisting the urge to write, “As you know, Bob” here.)

      • rozkaveney says:

        A couple of points and then, I think, we are on the same page…

        Pop impresarios – the gay men were often there in the early glory days – Epstein,Mickey Most, even Geffen arguably. The current crop – Cowell or Aiken/Stock/Waterman – are mostly AFAIK straight, as are the movers and shakers in the whole rap/hip-hop world. A lot of the more interesting women in
        rock and pop are to a greater or lesser extent in control of their own destinies – Madonna is the obvious example, but I gather the same is true of eg Beyonce or Lady Gaga. And this is often true of precisely those women who appeal to the gay male demographic. Even Kylie – she may have been made by the packagers, but she long ago seized back much of her control and has not lost it by doing things her old packagers have publicly denounced as perverse, like going off and singing for Nick Cave on Murder Ballads. A work Bindel probably thinks is misogynistic, but only because she is missing the point.

        Evidence for Clover and Williams is the way the gaming industry has found people engage in complex gender-fuck play,

        I want to say yet again, how totally Adorno got it wrong over eg Ellington and Armstrong.

      • stevegreen says:

        the gay men were often there in the early glory days

        You can add Joe Meek to that list, of course.

        Many of these figures were responsible for promoting the work of strong, forthright female singers. Geffen’s released work by Cher, Linda Rondstadt, Joni Mitchell (and, ahem, Olivia Newton-John), whilst Mickey Most gave us the iconic 1970s image of Suzi Quatro in her skintight zipsuits. Nothing misogynist there I can see.

      • finopalomino says:

        People identify with the killer? Wow.

  4. Oh FFS. Gay men like to have sex, and fantasise about having sex, with each other, in a way that’s offensive to women? And any porn involving power disparity is ‘rape’?

    And of course, no Real Feminist Lesbian would ever have sex that included power play, strength play, BDSM or anything like that. Absolutely not. (I wonder what Julie Bindel gets up to in the bedroom? I would imagine a cup of cocoa and a few chapters of The Female Eunuch would be about her speed…)

    Frankly, I’ve never quite got the ‘all sex is rape’ theory. Yes, there is always the potential for any sexual encounter to have an element of coercion. But it doesn’t have to – women can consent freely to whatever sexual activity they choose. It seems a peculiar way to empower women by telling them they are not enlightened enough to make their own choices about what to do with their bodies and in whose company. And calling consensual sex ‘rape’ belittles the experiences of real rape survivors.

    • auntysarah says:

      I wonder what Julie Bindel gets up to in the bedroom?

      I expect it mostly involves seething.

    • bibliofile says:

      I’m thinking that maybe Bindel’s a political lesbian, as she’s so very 1970s in her attitudes. In which case the Greer (and Dworkin, et al.) is spot on.

      • rozkaveney says:

        Bindel has said that she regards lesbianism as the correct political course for feminist women to take, while also threatening to sue anyone who said that she was not a lesbian. We don’t impose identities on people against their will, do we? so she is whatever she says she is.

        Germaine Greer is not a lesbian and as far as I know never has been – indeed according to David Plante she has been known to refer to them as cockroaches.

        Similarly, while Andrea Dworkin objected to penetrative sex as demeaning, she was as prone to condemning it among lesbians as elsewhere. The heroine of her novel Fire and Ice goes through a jailhouse rape that disinclines me to think that Dworkin thought fondly of sex with women – and the major emotional tie of her later years was with an anti-sexist man.

        It’s also worth pointing out that Dworkin, as far as I know, was never transphobic. I have a lot of issues with her politics, but not that one; when we found ourselves on a television show together, we formed an alliance against the deep sexism of Anthony Burgess that would not have been possible with someone like Greer or Bindel.

      • (disclaimer: I’m a bit drunk right now)

        While I understand ‘political lesbianism’ in the context of the 60s/70s feminist separatist movements, I think that claiming that lesbianism (or bisexuality) is a political act rather than a true sexuality is exactly imposing an identity on someone against their will – as well as depriving one’s self-declared identity of power.

      • rozkaveney says:

        My memory of the seventies and eighties is that political lesbians decried other women who merely had sex with each other as ‘lust lesbians’ as if that were a bad thing. I assume Bindel still thinks something of the sort – she has certainly talked in terms of some people being better lesbians than others.

      • bibliofile says:

        I try not to impose identities on people, myself. I was remembering those women who publicly and explicitly chose to identify as lesbians for political rather than sexual reasons. That’s not a choice that I have made (or would, I think), personally.

        Okay, I admit that I picked up on the Greer from ‘s comment. Greer was quite popular with some feminists back in the day.

      • redbird says:

        If people want to make emotional and life partnerships that aren’t about sex, regardless of their sexual orientations—whether they’re asexual, haven’t found a suitable partner, or have concluded that there’s no way to make one work with people of the sort they’re attracted to, or any other reason—that’s fine. I am tempted to say “but if you’re not attracted to women, don’t claim to be,” but that’s about potentially misleading women who are so interested, not that I think I get to define other people’s identities. Nor am I well situated to try to claim rights over the word “lesbian.” (A bisexual choosing partners of only one gender for political or other reasons is doing something different: s/he can still find people s/he’s attracted to.)

      • bibliofile says:

        Yes. Thanks for being more articulate than I can apparently be, today.

        (You didn’t think I was saying anything else, did you??? I was just happy that seemed to confirm the accuracy of the vibe that I picked up from Bindel.)

      • redbird says:

        I don’t think we disagreed, just was coming at it from a slightly different angle.

      • bibliofile says:

        I was always pretty sure that Andrea Dworkin had many fine qualities, even though I disagreed with many of her ideas (about penetration I’m more with Susie Bright). I’m not terribly surprised that she wasn’t transphobic, somehow. I was surprised when she stuck with the idea that all porn is bad and harms women, even after research began to show that that’s not so. [cue Avedon]

      • martin_wisse says:

        Speaking of Greer, I’ve only known her as the media designated legacy feminist and contestant on We Need Answers and Have I Got News for You. What is the problem with her?

      • rozkaveney says:

        Ever since her earliest feminist work, she has been attacking trans people and in particular trans women as inauthentic poseurs. Nor is this merely theoretical – she has stormed from a room when one of her closest friends tried to introduce her to me and she ended up resigning from her Cambridge College when they appointed a trans woman there.

        For some reason, she thinks this is a socially acceptable kind of bigotry.

  5. stevegreen says:

    “Not very bright” seems kind.

    I’m not particularly au fait with gay porn – it simply has no appeal for me – but Bindel’s charactisation of young boys gleefully being ‘raped’ by larger, older men strikes me as extraordinarily homophobic. Takes me back to the days of Dworkin and MacKinnon, in fact, and some of their more absurd rants.

    • kindkit says:

      young boys gleefully being ‘raped’ by larger, older men strikes me as extraordinarily homophobic

      I do watch a fair amount of gay porn (although mostly amateur rather than pro) and I concur. There is gay porn that imitates rape/abuse, just like there’s porn that caters to many other kinds of fantasies, but in my experience it’s far from the majority.

    • danaelaurm says:

      They both gladly used the latent homophobia in Canada to get a ban on porn by way of using gay and lesbian porn… The ban only ever affected gay and lesbian porn.
      She died thinking she did a great good, even slight queer sex positivity was branded as “porn” and university libraries and bookstores had sexuality sections completely destroyed by overzealous cops (oh the happy 80s-90s, that was at the time the Montreal police seemed to be more bothered with gay/lesbian/swinger bars and less with the fact that the mafia owns this bloody island), but by the great mother goddess, no queer would be allowed to watch porn in the Canadian federation! (that was just after Trudeau had decided that government had no business in Canadians’ bedrooms, the tories disagreed, and obviously still do)

      • jessie_c says:

        Not to mention Little Sisters Bookstore and their endless battle with Canada Customs : (

      • danaelaurm says:

        Yup, the infamous little sisters trial, great, they sided with a bunch of concerned conservative women, wrote a defense that was a disgusting appeal to the judge’s homophobia and then wondered why canadian queers, especially queer women, treated them LIKE THE TRAITORS AND BACKSTABBERS THEY WERE. Among the infamous list of banned books: everything Pat Califia ever wrote.

      • jessie_c says:

        I loved the scene in Better Than Chocolate: The sneering Customs guy holds out a packing slip (at arms length, as if any closer would contaminate himself with teh gay) and reads “Little Red Riding Hood in a skeptical and shocked voice.

      • stevegreen says:

        IIRC, the very first victim of the ‘feminist’ legislation they spearheaded was a feminist bookshop.

      • danaelaurm says:

        Yep, Little Sisters, a lesbian bookstore with a generous sexuality section.

      • martin_wisse says:

        But obviously, this was the wrong kind of feminist bookshop or it wouldn’t stuck porn!

    • gina_r_snape says:

      Takes me back to the days of Dworkin and MacKinnon, in fact, and some of their more absurd rants.

      This was my thought exactly. And they damn well traumatized me in my young adulthood until I found sex-positive feminism and queer theory in the 90s.

      How does this woman continue to get airplay?

  6. jessie_c says:

    Coming up next on Lifestyles of the Willfully Ignorant…

  7. parmonster says:

    Muppet. That’s it, nothing more, just a bleeding fucking muppet.

    She almost veers into a rational point, perhaps accidently, before careening off into the land of making Rush Limbaugh look sane.

    • cmcmck says:

      She’s not a nice enough personality to be a muppet. She seems to hate everything and everyone that isn’t Julie Bindel.

      And they tell us we (trans people) need therapy………….

      Sigh :o(

  8. scattykat says:

    Here is another video relevant to the protest :o)

  9. lovingboth says:

    She’s also barking on the subject of sex work. For example she is in print (one of her Guardian columns) saying that prostitution is the – not ‘a’, but ‘the’ – cause of gender inequality.

    Her personal motto seems to be “I wouldn’t, therefore you mustn’t!”

    • cmcmck says:

      What’s really terrifying on the subject of sex work and sex workers is that there are those in central government who take her deranged rantings seriously.

      Now that is REALLY scary!

  10. autopope says:

    Aaagh!

    *Headdesk*

    If I didn’t know anything about her, on watching this video I’d conclude that Bindel was a raving homophobe. (If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, should we call it a duck? Or a homophobe?)

  11. Anonymous says:

    It’s the ego ..

    I’m quite amazed by her amazing belief that the conspiracy against women, particularly lesbian feminist women, is so pervasive that even gay men can be persuaded to arrange their private lives in such a way that they act as a restriction upon her freedom.

    It’s all about her. It takes quite an astounding self-regard to imagine a world especially arranged to frustrate you.

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